Senior Travel Tours in Miami - How to Treat Your Grandma to a Ritzy Weekend
By Kara Franker
When planning a trip to Miami, most travelers think of its non-stop party scene and scantily clad beach-goers.
While the Magic City does have its fair share of 24/7 action, there's also a variety of entertaining and cultural and vacation destinations for seniors too.
Tasked with planning the ultimate Miami weekend getaway for my 80-year-old (and in impressively good shape) grandmother from Kansas, here's what we did and what I would suggest...
Roll out the red carpet
It's your grandma and she deserves the very best, so book her a room at a fabulous hotel such as The Ritz-Carlton. With four Ritz properties in Miami to choose from (South Beach, Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne and Bal Harbour), you can pick the location based on your family member's tastes and preferences. We opted for the luxurious and welcoming Ritz-Carlton in charming Coconut Grove, a lushly landscaped neighborhood on idyllic Biscayne Bay. The hotel staff went out of their way to make my grandma feel right at home, even bringing her freshly cut flowers and a personalized card. And we dined in the hotel's pop-up Indian restaurant, which was deliciously divine.
Visit Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Also in Coconut Grove, tour this stunning waterfront estate with 18th Century antiques and architecture as well as gorgeous tropical gardens. Vizcaya originally served as James Deering’s subtropical winter home in the 1910s and today it is a National Historic Landmark. Spend the afternoon wandering through the elaborate European-inspired gardens featuring towering 400-year-old trees and hundreds of exotic orchids.
Dine on the waterfront
Sticking with the ritzy theme, we took grandma to Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne. Situated directly on the sand, this laid-back waterfront eatery features comfy chairs under wide umbrellas and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. We noshed on an exotic octopus appetizer, freshly caught mahi mahi sandwiches and frozen mojitos, all of which grandma tried for the very first time. The Ritz has several great waterfront dining options perfect for senior travelers, including the casual Mexican-themed Cantina Beach and Cioppino, a fine-dining Tuscan restaurant with an impressive dessert selection.
Climb the lighthouse on Key Biscayne
A must-see for any visitor to Miami, the ocean views atop the historic lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park are jaw-dropping. Despite her age, my grandma is in incredible shape (she goes to the gym every day), so ascending the 109 steps to the top was not a problem for her. And the bird's-eye view is definitely worth the climb. Lighthouse tours are available at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursdays through Mondays.
And if your grandma is a rabble-rouser, you could always hit up the clubs on South Beach. But for us, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne provided the perfect serene backdrop for senior a fun, family-friendly weekend.
For this and other Florida travel ideas, go to VISIT FLORIDA's official travelers guide.